Preview and Predictions for Rutgers Scarlet Knights
New Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan has quite the project on his hands. Taking over a program that was afflicted by the aura of Mike Rice, Jordan is back at his alma mater (well, semi alma mater, since he didn’t technically graduate). Last season, the team badly struggled in Big East play, but still finished at almost .500, at 14-18. Jordan will be looking to improve on that number in the inaugural season of the AAC.
Last week, Rutgers announced that junior guard Myles Mack, redshirt junior forward Kadeem Jack and redshirt sophomore Greg Lewis will serve as the team captains for the 2013-14 season.
Mack is a 2012-13 All-Metro selection and was the team’s top outside shooter, very impressively hitting 46.2 percent of his three-point shots to go along with knocking down 88.2 percent of his three throws. On the season, he averaged 14.9 points per game.
Jack averaged 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest last season in 18.2 minutes a game. He will be asked to step up and deliver an efficient stat line in his new role this season.
Lewis missed last season due to a medical redshirt. He is the traditional big man, who has potential to be very effective on the low block. During his freshman season in 2011-12, he saw an average of 5.9 minutes a game and averaged 0.6 points and 1.0 rebounds a game. They are going to expect big things from Lewis this season, and the team naming him a captain as a redshirt sophomore verifies that thought.
Junior college transfers Craig Brown and D’Von Campbell, along with Kansas State transfer Wally Judge, Pittsburgh transfer J.J. Moore, and Iowa State transfer Kerwin Okoro will all add experience to a roster that coach Jordan cannot feel very confident with.
Although this team should not lose until December on paper, I think they will struggle out of the gate. It doesn’t get any easier going up against the likes of Louisville, Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati. Other AAC teams like SMU, UCF and USF also match up favorably against the Scarlet Knights. They won’t lose every game in conference, but they will not have a fun time. I say they will go 13-18, and I’m being very nice with that prediction. Mack will be an All-AAC selection.